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Do the Right Thing: The (The Criterion Collection)

4.3 out of 5 stars 334 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Spike Lee effectively combines humor and drama in this critically acclaimed film that traces the course of a scorching day on a block in the Bedford-Stuyevesant area of Brooklyn.

Additional Features

The Criterion Collection and Spike Lee have delivered an abundance of treasures in this new edition of Do the Right Thing. Addressing the viewer in video commentary specially filmed for this two-disc set, Lee warmly remembers the creative process and extraneous hoopla of his first masterpiece. Cameras were rolling on the day of the first read-through, capturing a fascinating glimpse of veteran actors and soon-to-be-knowns beginning to understand how special the film was going to be. Among other treats there's an illuminating one-hour making-of documentary; an interview with editor Barry Brown; and the video of Public Enemy's most lasting anthem, "Fight the Power." But Lee saves the best for the very end, delivering a "last word" in which he deliciously lambastes critics (by name!) who misguidedly predicted racial unrest upon the film's theatrical release. --Ryan Boudinot

Special Features

  • Special Features, Disc One: The Movie
  • New widescreen digital transfer, enhanced for 16 x 9 televisions
  • Audio commentary by director Spike Lee, cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, production designer Wynn Thomas, and actor Joie Lee
  • Special Features, Disc Two: The Supplement
  • New video introductions by Spike Lee
  • New video interview with editor Barry Brown
  • Spike Lee and line producer Jon Kilik revisit the film's Bedford-Stuyvesant locations
  • St. Clair Bourne's 60-minute documentary, The Making of Do The Right Thing
  • Spike Lee's behind-the-scenes footage, from rehearsal to wrap
  • Original storyboards for the riot sequence, plus a film-to-storyboard comparison

Product Details

  • Actors: Danny Aiello, Ruby Dee, Spike Lee, Ossie Davis, John Turturro
  • Directors: Spike Lee
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: February 20, 2001
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (334 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004XQMV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,618 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Do the Right Thing: The (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
In only his third film, Spike Lee created a classic that is both socially relevant and artistically accomplished. By focusing the actions at one location in one day, this film reminds us that race relation cannot be improved if we don't improve the way each one of us interacts with everyone else. The film's finale is notable for its echos of real events that occurred not long before the film was made, and its prescience of events to follow. It is an unforgettable movie scene that shows how intolerance can victimize everyone. Nevertheless, the apocalyptic vision of the final scene did not sit well with some critics. Is it a call to end violence or to start violence, they asked. In the film Lee seems to say there are no easy answers.
Somewhat overlooked is the fact that the film also makes keen observations of lives of American black underclass, especially in the portrayals of the "cornermen". Their exchanges are as amusing as they are trenchant in commenting the state of affairs of lower-class blacks. And through them, Lee takes the uncompromising position that sometimes the underprivileged can also be victims of their own mentalities.
Also, Lee subtlely shows the many faces of racial intolerance. While Sal's son Pino overtly hates blacks, and Buggin' Out is overtly intolerant of whites, but is the attitude of Sal himself really conducive towards racial harmony? Does he have a desire to get to know his neighbors, or does he simply want to "have no trouble with these people", as he puts it? By leaving this aspect ambiguous, Lee makes us think just what IS the right thing to do...
Despite all the criticisms against him, I believe Lee tackled the difficult subject as intelligently as any director could have done.
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Format: DVD
Spike Lee's 1989 film Do The Right Thing is among a handful of films that rise above the level of actual entertainment. It is thought-provoking, educational study of race relations. The film takes place during one extremely hot day in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. The neighborhood is predominately black, but the film centers around a pizzeria owned by Sal (Danny Aiello) who is white. All of Sal's customers are the black, but on his wall he has pictures of white film and music stars. This is a source of irritation to some customers, especially the radically minded Buggin' Out (Giancarlo Esposito). But Sal refuses to change and he goes about his business. Sal's two sons, Pino (John Turturro) and Vito (Richard Edson) also work at the pizzeria as does Mookie (Mr. Lee) who is Sal's delivery boy. Pino is highly bigoted and isn't afraid to let his opinions be know, while Vito is more sensitive and adverse to confrontation. Real life husband and wife Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee appear as the neighborhood elders, Da Mayor & Mother Sister who are constantly trading humorous barbs at one another while dispensing advice to the locals. Other interesting characters such as Radio Raheem, Sweet Dick Willie & DJ Mister Senor Love Daddy are featured throughout the film. Mr. Lee does a brilliant job of conveying the extreme heat that has overtaken the neighborhood. You can almost feel the heat while watching the film. Tensions also slowly rise through the film until the climatic riot scene where Sal's pizzeria is burned down, started by Mookie throwing a garbage can through the window. This is particularly devastating to Sal as he genuinely cared for Mookie and can't believe Mookie would do this to him. Mr. Lee's message in the film is that one doesn't know exactly what the right thing is.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
This movie is largely an angry, outrageous film. But it is also a beautiful and enlightening one. DO THE RIGHT THING garnered Spike Lee, writer, director, and star of the film, both praise and criticism. But what you must remember, those who either praise it or look down upon it, is that DO THE RIGHT THING couldn't be further from the truth.
DO THE RIGHT THING was an introduction to Lee's brazen and bold style of filmmaking. He had a part in every aspect: direction, cast, production, writing the screenplay, etc. That's why, if someone is interested in seeing a "Spike Lee joint", I will definitely recommend DO THE RIGHT THING first and foremost.
It's a look at race relations in America circa 1989, a drastic glimpse in which the outsiders, meaning the audience, can feel as if they are right there in Harlem with Mookie (Spike Lee).
Mookie is an unmarried father, a boyfriend to Tina (Rosie Perez), loud and outspoken with her buxom figure. She pushes Mookie to spend more time with her and their son, complaining about him being a deadbeat dad. His excuse? Work.
True, much of Mookie's time is spent working at Sal's, a pizzeria in Harlem, run by white Italians in a neighborhood where the population appears to be around 99.5 percent black.
Other characters include Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn), Da Mayor (Ossie Davis), Mother Sister (Ruby Dee), Buggin' Out (Giancarlo Esposito) and Jade, Mookie's sister (Joie Lee). Radio Raheem's dialogue throughout the film it limited - he more or less expresses his freedom through his incessantly blaring radio. In fact, throughout the entire movie, Public Enemy's "FIGHT THE POWER" blasts throughout the neighborhood. Buggin' Out is irked with a situation at Sal's that he feels must immediately be taken care of.
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Do the Right Thing: The (The Criterion Collection)
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